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October 2007 Archives

October 5, 2007

National cinnamon bun day

Yesterday was National Cinnamon Bun Day here in Sweden, so it seems somehow a fitting day to start a new blog. Of course I'm a day late, but you're not going to worry too much about that, are you? Its a new tradition, started in 1999, but I've yet to find someone who can explain why it was introduced.

Everywhere I went yesterday smelled of cinnamon, kanelbulle everywhere.

October 6, 2007

Sollentuna bound

We walked over the bridge from our flat in Akalla, heading toward Sollentuna Centrum. Theres an industrial/commercial area on the way, we passed a number of car dealerships and tech offices, Sun, Grundig, LG & Microsoft.

Beyond these theres the main junction with the E4, the main road north from Stockholm, we found the border between Stockholms Kommun and Sollentuna Kommun.


Entering Sollentuna itself we encountered what appeared as if it should be a shopping centre, but without any shops in - there was a row of blocks of flats with shops underneath them, but it was not like the centre we were expecting to find.

We went around the block where we found the station - and decided it might be worth a look on the other side on the offchance there might be more of the centre there. We discovered a building marked 'Sollentuna Centrum' so that seemed like a good place to look for lunch. No joy. Its just a small building containing a few shops. Just across the way theres another building that looks rather like a car park, which, it turns out, contains a more significant shopping experience. Unfortunately we were there around 4:30 so all of the food shops were closing so we had to opt for a kebab at the one place that still looked open.

October 21, 2007

Kista Landing

I arrived in Kista a couple of months back, I started a job on Torshamnsgatan in the tech district of Stockholm. Now I have some catching up to do to tell you about what I've found here.

Kista (pronounced 'Shiister') is a relatively new district, built over the last 40 years or so, home to much of the technology research and development in Stockholm. You might be forgiven for thinking the whole place was owned by Ericsson, but there are many other companies here.

IMGP1221.JPG One of the Ericsson offices
IMGP1222.JPG Boulevards in the area
IMGP1237.JPG Kista Science Tower

A walk around Helenelund

If instead of walking toward the Galleria from my office you cross the E4 and railway line you find yourself in Helenelund, a residential district on the edge of Sollentuna, itself a suburb of Stockholm. Trains run from Helenelund to Central Station.

IMGP1236.JPG Pendeltag or J-Train station at Helenelund
IMGP1233.JPG The shopping centre by the station
IMGP1223.JPG Some tags on a lamppost, I've no idea what they mean
IMGP1226.JPG Roadsigns at the junction of residential roads
IMGP1232.JPG Cycle/Pedestrian paths - there are lots of these 'little roads', making two networks seperating vehicle and pedestrian traffic

Runestone in Helenelund

There are a number of Rune Stones around the Stockholm area - one thing that A wants to do while she is here is to find some of them. This one I came across by accident and took a picture with the intention of finding someone who knew what it was.

There is a small informational plaque next to the stone, but that only has Swedish description so I was no wiser.

IMGP1230.JPG The rune stone
IMGP1228.JPG Its location outside Kummelby kyrka on Sollentunavagen

A time before boxy but safe

There was a time before cars were boxy but safe - here are some pictures of a few I've found in my exploration.

Along the waterfront

Stockholm has a lot of waterfront - it is a city made of islands, 24000 of them in the archipelago although the city centre rests on something like 10 main islands at the junction between the Baltic Sea and Lake Mälaren. It is not surprising, therefore, to find lots of interesting things on the waterfront.

IMGP1253.JPG Spirit of the Wild photo exhibition in Nybroplan/Berzelii Park
IMGP1288.JPG Data obelisks
IMGP1242.JPG Naval band

Central Station

Like many cities, Stockholm has a central station where everything converges - all the 'pendeltag' and inter-city trains stop here, and the underground (tunnelbana) lines all pass through T-Centrallen, connected to central station. There is also a coach station here for long distance coaches.


Going underground

The underground train system in Stockholm is called 'tunnelbana', t-bana or T-train for short. There are three lines, imaginatively named 'red', 'green' and 'blue', though they missed a trick of making the trains the same colour as the line they're running - I assume because they use the same trains on the different lines. A lot of the stations, especially on the blue line (the one through Kista) are hewn out of solid rock and left fairly rugged on the inside, feeling more like a cave than the London tube system I'm used to. The stations are also less infested with advertising, instead containing quite a lot of artwork to brighten them up.


Taking a walk down Valhalla Avenue

Valhallavägen forms the northeast boundary of the city centre, running north of Östermalm from the 1912 Olympic Stadium to Ladugårdsgärdet. It was built as part of the regeneration of Östermalm from slum dockland to the plush part of the city it remains to this day.

The stadium is far smaller than we expect these days - these days they need to support a whole village of TV crews and technologists as well as the athletes.

The avenue itself is a broad, treed road with traffic along each side and paths and parking in the centre, under the trees.

Ladugårdsgärdet is a large area of parkland, more like Hampstead Heath than, say, Hyde Park, it connects with Djurgården, home of Skansen and Gronalund.

IMGP1271.JPG Valhallagrillen
IMGP1276.JPG The avenue
IMGP1282.JPG Some stones marking the entrance to Ladugårdsgärdet


IMGP1290.JPG A sculpture outside a college
IMGP1291.JPG One of many churches built on lumps of rock


Södermalm is, in some ways, the Boulevard Saint-Germain of Stockholm, a bohemian island where all the cool kids hang out. In the centre of the island, just over the way from Medborgarplatsen T-Bana station is the Söderhallarna library and arthouse complex. Inside its quite a confused place, trying to be a number of things at the same time without being able to decide which it really is. Its a meeting place, a concert hall, a shopping centre, a cinema and an eating place. And probably some other things too.

IMGP1297.JPG The square
IMGP1300.JPG The entrance to the underground parkering-hus
IMGP1302.JPG Looking back toward the square
IMGP1303.JPG Looking back toward the square again


A walk around the island of Södermalm
IMGP1305.JPG Thor fishing with his hammer beating the monster of the sea in Mariatorget
IMGP1318.JPG Some wonderful architecture
IMGP1325.JPG Skyline
IMGP1328.JPG The mouth of the Söderledstunneln
IMGP1329.JPG More skyline

Skansen open air museum

We accidentally decided to go to the Skansen museum - we went on a bus tour of the city, which drove around Djurgården (among other places) pointing out the attractions available there. We thought there was some deal for getting in cheaply because we'd been on the bus tour but had managed to get ourselves confused. But we decided to go anyway.

It is an open air museum taking up much of the island. It started as a collection of buildings from around Sweden before the industrialisation of the country. So theres a lot of buildings which don't appear to be in their correct context (which gave the place a slightly sickly sweet Disney meets New England feel).

First stop was food, we climbed from the entrance up to the nearest cafe, sat upon a tall rocky outcrop. The venison stew was remarkably good value (being something like 10 krona more than you'd pay for a McDonalds hamburger) and gave A. her first taste of lingonberries. Just what we needed.

We noticed a lot of people carrying big bags of apples, and decided to go the direction they came from. There was an apple and pear festival going on, but the poor pears hardly had a look in, the apples stole the show. There were a number of stalls selling apples in various forms, mostly raw for later consumption but you could have them cooked in different ways.

The museum, as well as having many buildings from all over the country, houses a zoo with a number of animal enclosures and walks through reproductions of rural scenes.

IMGP1346.JPG A summer house
IMGP1348.JPG Flagpoles over the city
IMGP1349.JPG A windmill
IMGP1353.JPG A view across the city
IMGP1354.JPG The home of the apple festival
IMGP1360.JPG A wood pile
IMGP1361.JPG A. on a bridge
IMGP1365.JPG Me on a different bridge
IMGP1367.JPG A milestone
IMGP1368.JPG A scary sculpture
IMGP1370.JPG A wooden guardian
IMGP1378.JPG Tree of dummies, in the childrens petting zoo, I'm not quite sure of the logic behind this but there appeared to be a collection of dummies arranged in rainbow colours wrapped around a tree, quite a surreal exhibit
IMGP1383.JPG A tower in the grounds
IMGP1394.JPG Rocks in the zoo
IMGP1395.JPG Bears
IMGP1399.JPG An ancient house looking out over the sea
IMGP1400.JPG A. looking out over the sea
IMGP1403.JPG Me laying claim to the ancient house
IMGP1405.JPG Unknown antenna building in the distance
IMGP1406.JPG Works on a building, what a fabulous ladder
IMGP1409.JPG City skyline
IMGP1411.JPG Reindeer
IMGP1412.JPG A. with a wooden reindeer
IMGP1413.JPG The wooden reindeer
IMGP1417.JPG Another view over the city


Animal garden - this island is home of Skansen, among other things. A place reserved for cultural highlights of the city. We were there to visit the aquarium, but took a walk along the waterfront back to Kungstradgården T-bana. Find the aquarium was a bit of an adventure, most other things on the island are well signposted. Its hiding behind an arthouse, but we found it across the no-mans-land car park from Grona Lund.

The aquarium itself, although quite small, is nicely set up. With a number of sections, including a rainy rain forest and a (thankfully non-smelly) sewer. We had lunch looking out over the Baltic harbour, across to the cruise liner dock on Södermalm. Watching the Waxholms Bolaget ferries sailing back and forth. This is a wonderful location, worth the entrance cost on its own, never mind the fisk.

IMGP1428.JPG An alleyway by the waterfront
IMGP1430.JPG Fusebox
IMGP1431.JPG Djurgården 9 ferry
IMGP1432.JPG Cars on a jetty
IMGP1433.JPG Cart
IMGP1441.JPG Poet
IMGP1442.JPG Poets view
IMGP1444.JPG Nordica museum
IMGP1445.JPG Looking across to Östermalm
IMGP1446.JPG A god on a bridge

October 30, 2007


Some pictures from around our flat in Akalla.

IMGP1447.JPG An office & restaurant
IMGP1450.JPG Microsoft offices
IMGP1452.JPG Our flat (yes, that is a dual carriage way...nice and quiet)
IMGP1465.JPG The bridge over the road
IMGP1466.JPG The front of our apartment building
IMGP1467.JPG A concrete horse - the roads here are said to be infested with "farmers farming concrete cows", because many roadworks are barricaded off with blocks of concrete that look like cows, this is a variant on the same theme. I tried, but failed, to explain Milton an aside, "A Swedish Organization called The Militant Graffiti Artists of Stockholm has kidnapped and decapitated one of the cows of the Stockholm [cow parade] in protest of the publicly provisioned cows carrying advertisements."
IMGP1486.JPG A roadside cast dog

Street car festival

On Sunday I went to Street Car Fest at Sollentuna Massan exhibition centre - I kept expecting to meet Vin Diesel living his life a quarter mile at a time. There was a lot of bass and a lot of people who thought their cars were really good. And to be fair some of them were. Its nice to hear that it is possible for those tricked out stereos to sound good, though there were also some that sounded awful.

Highlights were a purple MR2, 'Unicorn', an Alpine for sale (I couldn't see a price) and a couple of really nice looking Audis.

Lowlights were a Opal Nova with too much bass and a suicide door (just the one) and a Volvo pickup.

I was also interested to see the demographics of the crowd, a lot of young lads who aspire to own cars like these, a number of families with boys who obviously love cars and a few older chaps who I would've thought more at home at a motorbike rally. I was a little unnerved by the models posing by cars entourage that was visiting each of the cars and draping underdressed and underinterested girls over them. It reminded me of the comet effect you got in the school playground where everyone is following the football without having any strategy or teamwork.


About October 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Stockholm and beyond in October 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2007 is the next archive.

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